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August 2017 Surgery Group

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Comments

  • AliceAgnes
    AliceAgnes Member Posts: 44
    edited October 2017
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    Hi, Marilyn. I just started anastrozole this week.So far, so good. I have been on radiation for four weeks and have two more to go. There is lots of redness with that but so far no pain. A couple of weeks ago I got fitted for my prosthesis and my experience was similar to yours--kinda fun. I won't be wearing mine, though, until all the redness is gone from radiation. I wear loose cotton tops and don't want to irritate my skin with any extra clothing. At night I even sleep topless because the nurses told me letting air get to the radiated areas hastens healing. :)

    Thanks for updating us on your progress. I hope your "board" diminishes down to nothing soon!

  • beach2beach
    beach2beach Member Posts: 245
    edited November 2017
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    I'm bumping this up my August surgery friends.

    I hope everyone is doing well with whatever part of the process you are in now. November is upon us. For me even though August may be months ago, I still mentally feel like I just had surgery recently.

    With Thanksgiving and the holidays right on us, I'm looking forward to that distraction. I hate winter..so not looking forward to that.

    Would love to hear from you ladies...Hugs to all!!


  • rljes
    rljes Member Posts: 499
    edited November 2017
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    Hi BeachtoBeach! I am still slow to heal from surgery. My incisions still are painful and parts I cannot touch to massage.  
    Hi Marilyn, what is ROM? I have mini 1x4's - they are slowly going away. 
    Hi AliceAgnes, I don't think I will have Radiation.  But I have 6 months to think about it. I've seen my RO 3 times.  They really want me to have rad.  Have you tried the Green Tea spray and pads?  I saw it on one of the threads, and its in my RO handbook.  Suppose to really help with the heat.  I can't imagine the heat of radiation and Hot Flashes together. Mercy! 
      Take care everyone and keep in touch 

  • MarilynIllinois
    MarilynIllinois Member Posts: 50
    edited November 2017
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    Hi rljess, it's "range of motion." I also am enjoying going back to yoga practice, but am avoiding putting any weight on my arms like push ups or planks. My physical therapist has given me the go-ahead for light weights and I use a resistance band to build up arm strength.

    I know what you mean, beach2beach, surgery was a big deal. Hope it's only a once in a lifetime event for us all! I feel like I have forgotten or pushed aside the most yucky parts (the drains, changing the bandages, and seeing the incision) but the magnitude of the surgery experience stays with me.

    It feels good to bundle up but every time I put on a coat, I can feel the 1x4! Best wishes to you all!

  • AliceAgnes
    AliceAgnes Member Posts: 44
    edited November 2017
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    rljess, I asked my onc about using the green tea and he preferred that I not, only because he likes to see redness and peeling occur if the patient can stand it. I decided to try going without the extra relief that the green tea would have provided. If your advice is to use it, I'd say go for it! By slathering on the lotion three times a day (after rads, evening before supper, night before bed) I was able to avoid pain until my fifth week of treatments.

    My onc explained to me that radiation gets to places that chemo can't reach--for me, places in the chest wall, the skin, and the lymph system that aren't reached by the blood vessels that carry the chemo. In my case he said that adding rads to my course of treatments (which already included surgery, chemo, a year of Herceptin and five years on anastrazole) my chances of recurrence are reduced to 15%. My treatment has had to be aggressive because of my triple-positive status.

  • rljes
    rljes Member Posts: 499
    edited November 2017
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    Hi AliceAgnes - I see that I'll be doing the same regiment  as you had, except Perjeta.  that wasn't mentioned to me.   Is there a reason they added Perjeta along with Herceptin?  I'm triple Positive too and high risk from my Mammaprint.
    That was a good explanation your RO gave for having Radiation.  I don't know if I could tolerate Rad because of my severe skin disorder.  If my skin were to peel - it would become one big open sore.  But a lot of things can change in 6 months when its time to for Radiation. 
      When does the Anti Estrogen Pill come into the picture ?

  • AliceAgnes
    AliceAgnes Member Posts: 44
    edited November 2017
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    Hi,rljess. I believe they only give Perjeta to those who have chemo before surgery, as I did. I'm sure that having surgery first was the best option for you and that's why things went that way. I have been taking anastrazole for two weeks already. I was tolerating the radiation well so my onc saw no need for me to wait. I have had zero side effects, although I did follow the advice of some on this site to take it in the morning and not the evening. I also take it with food. Of course my bone density will be checked as time goes on, but I am following ruthbru's advice to eat a serving of prunes every morning (7-10). There is a University of Florida study that has shown that daily servings of prunes helps keep the bones strong. I also eat Vitamin D-reinforced cold cereal with milk every day and drink kefir most days. These happen to be some of my favorite foods so it's no sacrifice. So far my onc isn't saying anything about my taking any supplements.

  • cyclegal
    cyclegal Member Posts: 49
    edited November 2017
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    Hi everyone, just checking in as well...I had my exchange surgery earlier this week. Boy, the recovery is quite a bit easier than the mastectomies! In fact, I have no pain in my chest at all, but I do have decent soreness in my back where the PS took fat for grafting. I am about to take my first shower when my husband gets home from work, and I am nervous to see my new foobs for the first time.

    Before the exchange surgery, I went to a physical therapist four times over two weeks to work on some scar tissue that formed on my right side. She would mechanically work away the scar tissue and also work on my chest muscle, which was really tight. The treatments really helped, and I noticed a big improvement in my range of motion on the right. Prior to treatment, if I tried to lift my right arm over my head, I would feel a strong pulling through my right chest muscle and armpit that would prevent me from making my right arm straight. Now it's symmetrical with my left. I just thought I would mention it in case anyone is having similar issues.

    Good to hear from everyone :)

  • beach2beach
    beach2beach Member Posts: 245
    edited November 2017
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    cyclegal, Glad it went well and hope you are pleased when you see your new boobs Happy


    I had direct to implant and nipple sparing. I get twinges of pain every so often, mostly by my left nipple, and itching sometimes with both. The itching comes from underneath so makes me a little batty at times. The tamoxifen has been doing a little number on me in different ways with headaches and I noticed an increased ringing in my ears and some pelvic pressure at times but nothing dramatic to make stop so far. Now the Holidays are almost upon us...

    It's nice to catch up.

  • kmb4
    kmb4 Member Posts: 20
    edited November 2017
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    Hi Ladies,

    I received some good news from my oncologist a few weeks ago. He did not recommend chemo or radiation!! My oncotype test came back with a number that was in the gray area! I figured that would happen, but I guess he felt it was low enough that I did not need chemo. since no lymph nodes were involved Radiation was also ruled out. I am now on the hormone blocker anastrozole for 5 yrs. I am starting that this week as I also had to go on Fosamax because they found out I have osteoporosis. He wanted me on the the fosamax for a few weeks before starting the hormone blocker. Have you ladies heard the news about the fact that they are now saying that ER+ breast cancers risk does not go down after years like they thought? It was on the news the other night that a new study came out about it. They are recommending people stay on the hormone blocker indefinitely! I was not happy to read this and will be talking to my oncologist in January when I see him again. I still have my tissue expanders in waiting for the NEW plastic surgeon to arrive. my original one left. They do not expect her to be here till sometime in December so I'm guess I won't get my exchange until January. I hope everyone is doing well. I have to see my surgeon this week too so I guess I will see what he has to say. I'm worried about my left arm mobility. It's still not where I think it should be.

  • beach2beach
    beach2beach Member Posts: 245
    edited November 2017
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    Hi Kmb4,

    Great news on no chemo or rads!!!

    I didn't hear that report. Sigh, Im pre-menopausal and been on Tamoxifen for almost a full 3 months. It's taking its toll on my ovaries. I seem to be in the percentage that still gets periods on it and they are doozey. Indefinitely now on a drug? Guess I would do it if it proves that there is a benefit to continuing past 10yrs...

    What is wrong with your arm? Not able to do a full swing?

  • Scaredbunny
    Scaredbunny Member Posts: 17
    edited November 2017
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    Hi Belle76. My diagnosis is similar to yours. I had a BMX grade 3 tumor. 5.6 cm in length micropapillary with 7 lymph nodes affected with cancer. I believe that I am at high risk of reoccurrence which is frightening. I so happy to see that you are a few years from diagnosis and are doing well. Looking for support. 41 years old and married with two small children.

  • MrsWinnie
    MrsWinnie Member Posts: 119
    edited November 2017
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    hugs scared bunny my thought are with you. Im 43. It sure is scary. All going ok here. About to so 3rd chemo wednesday not looking forward to it. I also start herceptin this round.


    Nope MO decided not to double up meds and will start herceptin after chemo.

  • MarilynIllinois
    MarilynIllinois Member Posts: 50
    edited November 2017
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    Hi August friends, Happy Thanksgiving! I am thankful to you, for your online friendship, encouragement, tips and helpful hints. It helps to talk to others who are going through the same surgeries. We have shared some tears and laughs online.

    Best wishes for continued healing!

  • Scaredbunny
    Scaredbunny Member Posts: 17
    edited November 2017
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    Hi. It's great that your tumor was so small. The smaller the better. Hope your chemo went ok yesterday. I have my 3rd Taxol tomorrow. ....

  • kmb4
    kmb4 Member Posts: 20
    edited November 2017
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    beach2beach my left arm was not as mobile as my right. I talked to my surgeon and he was not concerned. he said it was doing great. I've been working on my exercises and it is slowly getting better.

  • beach2beach
    beach2beach Member Posts: 245
    edited November 2017
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    Good to hear kmb4. My right armpit is still swollen. Thinking because its my dominant side so never really rest it. It's a new normal that we have and are living in now.

    We were sweating literally and figuratively in August and now it's almost December. Sorry we are all on here, but glad to have met you all and to have this support.

    Hope everyone else is doing ok in whatever stage of treatment you are at and that at Thanksgiving, despite having this diagnosis, that we found things to be thankful for... Hugs...

  • Lsunshine
    Lsunshine Member Posts: 24
    edited November 2017
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    hello cyclegal, I also had my exchange surgery last Monday. I’m a little disappointed that the implant didn’t fill in the area completely and I still have a divot on my left side above the implant when I lift my arm. My ps talked to me about fat transferring before my exchange but said he does not do the 2 procedures together so I would have to heal and then go back for fat graphing. Now I will have to meet my deductible once again. As far as pain it’s very tolerable I only took 2 pain pills one the first night and one the second night ibuprofen off and on as needed. Glad you are doing well

  • rljes
    rljes Member Posts: 499
    edited November 2017
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    Hi my Aug Surgery Group!  Started Chemo nov 28th.   and just as you all said, once the first was over - most anxieties would go away -   you were right.  Day 3 and I'm doing fine. taking my anti-nausua like clock work - swishing like crazy with baking soda, pinch of salt and water, Not quite sure which way I'll go as far as Big D or Big C..  afraid to take anything for Big C - but I guess I should.  So far so good. 

    Beach2Beach and kmb4 - stay on top of those arm pits - don't want Lymphedema to take effect. I went to PT for a month or so - when I got my port in a few weeks ago I had to stop working out and I could feel my armpits curling up.  Got to stay up on those stretches!  

    Good talking to you all again - hope your journeys are going well!


  • kmb4
    kmb4 Member Posts: 20
    edited December 2017
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    hi ladies,

    hope everyone is doing well. I saw a new plastic surgeon last week since the one I was going to moved. I liked the new plastic surgeon except she really kind of pushed doing a nipple reconstruction. I explained I was was not interested. It's just not something that is important to me. besides now if I want to go bra less I can! Lately I have been having some sharp pains in one of my "breasts" its not on the side that had the cancer. It seems to be right in the front where the nipple would have been. It's a sharp shooting pain. On my visit she said everything looked good and I will be scheduled to have the tissue expanders out the end of January. Has anyone had this type of pain?? It's not everyday so not sure if I should be concerned.

  • cyclegal
    cyclegal Member Posts: 49
    edited December 2017
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    Hi everyone, it's nice to hear how our August friends are doing! I am now 4 weeks post exchange and am pleased with my new foobs. That said, I am having another fat grafting procedure in early February because the PS couldn't get enough fat from my flanks. There is a dent around the top of my right implant (I have pre-pec implants) that I would like to have filled, and if there is any more fat, then the cleavage could use a little too. It's nice to finally be able to wear more of my clothes and not feel like I have torpedos on my chest. I had small, sad, 41 year old, nursed three kids boobs before having them removed, so I am very happy that the foobs are a big improvement over what I had before! The fat donor site was very sore for a couple of weeks after the procedure, but now it's fine, and there was numbness that is going away gradually. Now I am going to myofascial release therapy to work out the scar tissue that has formed at the donor site.

    kmb, I hear ya on nipple recon...while I was able to keep mine, they don't project much at all, and I had some necrosis on the right side, but I told my PS I really didn't need her to make them any more prominent! Being able to go braless sometimes will be really nice, especially in summer.

    Thinking of you all during your treatments, and I hope the side effects have been manageable. I recently found out my best friend's sister has breast cancer (2 inch IDC tumor) and is about to go through mastectomies. She found out today she is BRCA2+, and my friend will have testing done ASAP. If anything positive has come from my experience, I am happy to be able to share my knowledge (a lot gained on this site) with her and her sister as they navigate everything.

  • MarilynIllinois
    MarilynIllinois Member Posts: 50
    edited December 2017
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    Hi Friends, best wishes to you as we turn our backs on 2017!

    I hope everyone's chemo or radiation treatments are tolerable and will be completed soon!

    I return next week for my annual mammogram of my good side. Little nervous, my sternum is still tender and sore. I'm still going to physical therapy for a weekly massage.

    Does anyone else still get occasional stinging in your underarm area? The 2x4 is greatly reduced, but still a small part of me, something I feel everyday. I am massaging my scar tissue.

    Best wishes everyone!

  • beach2beach
    beach2beach Member Posts: 245
    edited December 2017
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    @MarilynIllinois, went to see my Oncologist for 3mth visit. She told me to have fleeting,sharp pains in armpit area was normal and could continue for some time. Hope that helps. I get it mostly in my right. I would think it would be normal for us to have pain off and on for months. Major surgery and nerves were cut. As they start to renew I'm sure that sets off zings.


  • rljes
    rljes Member Posts: 499
    edited December 2017
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    Hi Everyone - just checking in to say Hey.

    Mayrilyn - I still have just a little tiny 2x4 in my chest - and its my own fault for not stretching everyday.  They were almost gone, then I got my Port and didn't exercise, and my incisions seems to get worse.  Thanks for the reminder - I am going to stretch today! 

    I went flat, but I have sharp pains where the incisions end toward middle of chest.  Almost like Phantom nipple pain.  I keep rubbing the scar tissue, but like the stretching, I forget. 

    My ribs protrude and is hurting around that area - I get my 4 month check up with my BS Tuesday. (all my weight is in butt, legs and thighs - heavy sigh) 

    cyclegal - glad your happy with your 'foobs' Imagine having great foobs and not having to wear a bra! wow! sorry your friends's friend has cancer as well. 

    kmb4 - tattoo nipples maybe? 

    Have a good week 

  • beach2beach
    beach2beach Member Posts: 245
    edited December 2017
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    Hi my August 2017 surgery friends. I hope this finds you all doing well. Crazy time of year for most of us. I'm not sad to wave bye-bye to 2017 and I wish for all of us on here to have a Happy and Healthy 2018. Let's keep moving forward.

    I hope we continue to check in. Think it's comforting to see how we are doing especially since we had surgery within the same timeframe.


    Hugs...xo Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays or whatever one may celebrate to all

  • rljes
    rljes Member Posts: 499
    edited December 2017
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    Hi beach2beach - good that we check in from time to time.  I'm on the Nov Chemo group.  My incisions still hurt.  But had my 4 mo check up and BS said I'm fine.  ok.  

    Day 3/ Chemo #2 - Not feeling to great these past 3 days.  Different from last time.   

    But I'm all for ringing out 2017 and in with 2018.  Hope you all have a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! Stay safe for New Years Eve!

    Take care, rj

  • beach2beach
    beach2beach Member Posts: 245
    edited December 2017
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    hi rljes,

    Sorry you're feeling crappy with the chemo. :( I hope the balance of the treatments goes better.

    My node incision areas bother me the most, especially the right side. It took that side longer to start to come back.

    Glad you checked in.

  • MarilynIllinois
    MarilynIllinois Member Posts: 50
    edited January 2018
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    Happy New Year August friends, I hope we will all have a healthy year ahead of us!

    I had my annual mammogram of my good breast and the radiologist said it looks normal. I don't need to see my surgeon for a year. She said the occasional stinging in my underarm is normal. The incision is healing well. I only wear my prosthesis when I go out. My knitted knocker is more comfortable.

    Thanks again, friends, for all the online help and support. You are the best! Hope all are well.

  • MrsWinnie
    MrsWinnie Member Posts: 119
    edited January 2018
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    image

  • beach2beach
    beach2beach Member Posts: 245
    edited January 2018
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    Happy New Year! Wishes for a Happy, HEALTHY and lets throw prosperous in there too..New Year for us all.